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Wendy Rowe: the 6 most ageing makeup mistakes - and how to avoid them

November 16th 2016 / Victoria Woodhall / 3 comments

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Skin colour and texture change as we age - and so should our makeup. International makeup artist Wendy Rowe explains her simple anti-ageing tricks to lift, sculpt and keep glowing

Step away from the shimmer - no good can come of it. While we might embrace our expression lines as we get older, we don't necessarily want our makeup to get in on the act, highlighting every crepe and crevice. Wendy Rowe, who pioneered the 'no makeup makeup' look back in the noughties and is now Aritistic Consultant for Burberry Beauty, knows how to make women of all ages look glowing (remember Julie Walters in the Burberry Christmas ads last year?).

Some simple switch-ups can make all the difference as we age. “Colours in general should be kept to natural, nude tones – the sorts of colours that you naturally have in your face, lips, eyes and cheeks, " she says. "Anything too bright will stand out and draw too much attention and is easier to get wrong when you’re older.”

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Wendy Rowe. Photography: Jem Mitchell

Find out how to turn anti-ageing don'ts into dos below, with Wendy's professional tips and product recommendations.

1. Don’t: use powder or powdery foundation

Why? “Skin becomes crepey as it ages and powder formulations tend to settle in any lines and wrinkles, highlighting them and making the skin look old and dusty."

Do: Stick to BB creams or products that create a luminous, glowing finish instead of a powdered look; cream products are always more luminous and give the effect of a much more youthful, glowing complexion.”

Try: Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation £60 if you want to use a foundation, or Cover FX Mattifying BB Gel £35.

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2. Don’t: overdo shimmer or glitter

Why? “Anything that is too shimmery or glittery, especially highlighter products, often contain shimmer flecks, particles of glitter or too much pearl; the higher the pearl content, the more ageing it will look.

“Products like this collect on the skin and highlight every hair, line and imperfection; that goes for glitter eyeshadows too. The skin around the eyes is very fine and glitter sits in the lines and creates lots of little highlights and shadows all over the eye accentuating lines or any drooping of the skin.

“It’s important not to go for anything too matte either because it will also sit in lines. It can also be too white in its undertone, which ends up looking like dry talcum powder - never a good look!

“Fake tan and bronzer can work as you age as long as you avoid anything with shimmer or glitter. The shade you choose should look natural for you, not too obvious."

Do: “You want to avoid the extremes and find something 'in-betweeny' which is flattering – look for something with a creamy, luminous feel, which doesn’t contain shimmer or glitter."

Try: Burberry Eye Colour Contour Smoke & Sculpt Pen £23.

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3. Don’t: use bold or dark lip colour

Why? "As you get older, the lips thin out and deflate and you lose definition around the outer edges. A dark colour will make the mouth look smaller."

Do: "To create the effect of fuller lips, choose a pinky nude or an orangey nude similar to your natural lip shade and go for a texture that has a slight dew, as this will give a fuller-looking effect."

Try: Rosie for Autograph Nude Mink lipstick £14.

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4. Don’t: wear thick or graphic eyeliner

Why? “As we age, gravity takes over and the socket line can become lost, so a thick liner can look too dense. Never do a hard, angular or graphic line if you are going to wear eyeliner because it will emphasise any drop in the structure of the face and highlight anything that is not symmetrical.”

Do: “If you are going to wear eyeliner, make sure the line is very thin and close to the lash line. Instead of graphic, try to keep it much softer looking; you can do this by using a blendable eyeliner pencil and smudging it for a soft feel if you still want to create some definition around the eye.”

Try: Kevyn Aucoin Eye Pencil Primatif, £21. "For mascara I like Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara, £25 as the brush defines and coats the lashes and it’s easy to build up. It also separates the lashes and looks glossy instead of dry and flaky."

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5. Don’t: attempt anything too heavy or harsh with your brows

Why? “Brows are important for framing the face but tend to thin out with age. Steer clear of anything that looks too solid and unnatural.”

Do: “Create the illusion of naturally fuller looking brow shape by using an eyebrow definer to create a bigger shadow effect.

"To create the shadow, use a slightly lighter shade than your natural brow colour and avoid anything with red or warm tones in it. Look for something ashy with a grey undertone (unless you are have very dark hair naturally). Again, as with eyeliner, keep the brows looking soft and natural. Try not to be too heavy handed, just sketch the shadow with a pencil using a light touch, brushing it through with an eyebrow brush to blend the shading in with your natural hairs.

“Then, create the illusion of tiny little hairs over the top of the shadow effect use an angled brush and a gel-textured brow pot. This makes the brow look really natural and undetectable and avoids that graphic solid look.”

Try: Blink bbrowbar Brow Definer pencil £15 to create the shadow and bbrowbar Brow Sculpt £17 to sketch in hairs using an angled brush.

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6. Don’t: stick with the makeup look you’ve always done

Why? “The structure of the face changes and anything too bright or graphic, which might have worked when you were younger, will just highlight everything that has dropped, thinned or become lined and will make you look older.

Do: “The key to flattering makeup later in life is to keep things softer and try to use makeup to lift the features that have dropped slightly. Many women develop hooded eyes later in life where the skin falls over the socket line. To help lift them, you need to look directly into the mirror with your eyes open and use a taupey brown colour to create a shadow line where the socket should be, slightly higher up and blend it in so that it gives the illusion of a lifted eye shape and depth where the socket line used to be."

“Some women also suffer with eye bags as they age; you also need to work with the illusion of light and shadow to mask them. Start by using a creamy pen concealer in a light shade where the bags look darkest, in the deepest part. Then, apply a darker concealer shade, which matches the rest of your skin tone, where the eye bag is most raised. Use your finger to lightly pat the two shades together for a seamlessly blended finish and the overall effect will be that the skin is flat and you won’t notice the bags."

"Applying blush higher up on the apples of the cheeks is a good tip - be sure to look for cream textures to keep things looking fresh and youthful."

Try: Burberry Sheer Concealer £26 for eye bags, Stila Convertible Colour, £11 for cream blush and RMS Beauty Swift Shadow £18 to redefine your socket line. “It’s a powder with a creamy-looking finish which you can use wet or dry.”

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If you love Wendy’s tips then check out her new book Eat Beautiful, Nourish Your Skin From the Inside Out £20 with foreword by Sienna Miller, which is full of skin inspiration and recipes.

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Follow Wendy and Get The Gloss on Instagram. Need more inspiration as to how to apply your makeup? The right tools make all the difference. Download out guide to the best makep brushes and applicators on the planet here.

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  • victoria woodhall
  • November 17th 2016

Dear Rosemary and Kay,

Thank you for your feedback, we will certainly take that on board - it's an important issue.
Meanwhile, you might enjoy these videos shot for us by Mary Greenwell, in which she answers readers' queries on daytime and evening makeup in your fifties and beyond.
Let us know what you think!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR3F826oeXQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1iFxM6KozI

Victoria

  • Rosemary Sandberg
  • November 16th 2016

I so agree. And why do your make-up artists always work on 20 year olds (and younger) who have got perfect skin to begin with and often don't need help. I would love to see Mary Greenwell do her own make-up. Wendy Rowe's article is a great start. But I hope this approach is not a one off.

  • KAY CASSIDY
  • November 16th 2016

Why don't you ever post pics of people looking amazing in their 60s or 70s - this piece should have been the perfect oppurtunity to use pics of amazing looking older women. Not photo- studio over made-ups of Twiggy or face lifted Catherine Deneuve, but gorgeous-skinned older babes. Im not that age yet and I read all your expert advice but never see anyone like that much in the reality as evidence unless they are freaks of nature. xxx

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